After being back from Bermuda for a few days, I still kept looking at the pictures and thinking about the places we’ve been to. Altogether it was a wonderful experience-the ocean, the sun, the rocks, the caves, and also the natural history of all the places we went to. I can’t imagine a better way to get to know somewhere, and it’s amazing to learn so much about the island through looking at things in reality. Now I’m going to write a little about my favorite places in Bermuda, and some of the things we did there.

One of my favorite places is the beaches on South shore. Apart from the spectacular view of the ocean that changes color constantly, the rock formations on the beaches also fascinates me because of the histories they reveal. According to their hardness and degree of erosion, we can get a general idea of which formations do they belong to, and their relative age. The sea lifes in the beaches are also intriguing: we found a large number of West Indian top shell, chitons, forams and jellyfishes. While West Indian top shells nearly became extinct, the land hermit crab population was also in danger, so it was reintroduced to Bermuda and thrived there, later spread all over the island. At Warwick long beach, a very pink beach with coarse-grained sand, we counted the number of homotrema in a 1 inch X 1 inch square to get an idea of its quantity. We also looked for different kinds of organisms in the sands and found bits of chitons, gastropods and small pieces of corals that are hard to identify. Also, I loved to play with the West Indian top shells that adhered to rocks near the beach. Picked up one (of a pretty light greenish color) at Stonehole Bay and it sucked on my palm, though I had to let go finally and put it back to the pond it was in. I also pinched a jellyfish by accident without realizing that they can sting 🙂 it felt soft, just like touching a blown bubble gum.

The caves were also wonderful places to go to, especially the ones in the Walsingham formation. Though they were so dark that we had to use flashlights, we saw a lot of stalactites and stalagmites, with calcite gleaming on the edges of some.  We also got to swim in one of them before we left. After getting used to the cold water, I tried to snorkel a little bit inside and saw the bottom of the cave some tens of feet under the surface. It was much deeper than I thought, and somewhat gloomy because the lack of light. I was surprised at how much I liked the caves here, as opposed to the caves I often visit in my hometown.

If I have to pick one place on the island, it would be Nonsuch Island. Having done the vegetation presentation, I came here and wished to see some endemic vegetations of Bermuda, but I didn’t know that I would seen so many of them on this island. I love the yellow wood tree-the shape of the leave and its sandy texture, and the cedars that thrived on the island. Also, it was very inspiring to hear Mr. David Wingate talking about his effort to preserve native species and explaining how the local species depend on each other to make the ecosystem work. I also saw the largest West Indian Top Shells I’ve ever seen on this island, probably because Nonsuch island is the place where they were first reintroduced.

After visiting the aquarium for two times in our trip, I found it a wonderful place to see some Bermudian fish, and the visit actually helped me to tell different species of fish apart while snorkeling at North Rock. I love seeing fishes floating quietly in their own tanks, and enjoyed the tour behind the scenes to know how the aquarium worked. Touching a longtail was also a cool experience, and I was a little worried to see it swallowing a big sardine (for fear of it getting choked)

So those are the places that I love the most in Bermuda. And I also miss a lot of activities we’ve done: driving a moped (which was frightening at first but later became fun), snorkeling, finding Geocaches with Bruce (one of my favorite parts! The one hidden inside a pipe was tricky…) and many others! I’m really thankful for having Bruce as our trip leader and our wonderful group to do things together with 🙂 You all made this trip so much fun and enriching!

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